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Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location

Posted by Anonymous User  
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 09, 2007 12:42PM
Dear Robert

I think that the phenomena of "low quality posts" - so-to-speak - has been mostly on this Fakes & Frauds forum.

It is kind of the nature of this forum to come to it to question shady things and have them offered up to the derision of the people who frequent the board. And this ends up almost invariable fanned into flames when someone has what - to us as intelligent people "in the know" - is the nerve to come here and actually defend such shady practises. It's a sort of knee-jerk: "Who the heck do you think your talking to here?"

As to this period in time representing the best of a buyer's market in venues such as eBay, I do believe your right - but only, as you note, when it comes to the truly savvy mineral buyer. The "rube," on the other hand is being parted from his or her money like a sheep going through the shearing pen. I personally don't wish to support this by being involved. My oft-stated "Mother Plante never bore such a foolish son" could also read: "Mother Plante never bore such an amoral son."


Anonymous User
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 04:12AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2007 08:12AM by Craig Mercer.
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 04:24AM it.....
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 09:39AM
Geez Robert, please excuse me for for not being "in the know". Yes, I am a relative newcomer, sorry I'm not a geologist. I asked a question, and I did feel it pertained to the subject. Alan, who has infinite more patience than you, answered my question. Thank you Alan, I see the scientific reason now.
Many of us "unknowledgable" people use this site to learn. We all collect, and I find it interesting to find out why.
Because of my work hours I'm not able to take a geology course so I'm trying to collect from the different rock classifications. I want to not only find gems and minerals but understand how they were created. I live in a reasonably good area for doing so and I travel to places when I can. I have not reached the point of trying to learn about gems/minerals only available halfway around the world. When and if I reach that point I now understand why knowing as close to precisely where the sample came from would be important.
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 10:20AM
Hi Tracy

The problem is not whether or not a person is "in the know" but rather what the come to use this particular forum (Fakes an Frauds) for. Educating oneself is a positive thing. Trying to argue - lets say - that jacking up the price of poor quality quartz and selling it to gullible people under some trumped-up New Age name at those highly inflated prices is a bad thing. It's unethical. And also just plain stupid to argue here. Its like swimming into the sharks mouth, because we are "insiders" enough to know with a clear and certain knowledge that all such a person is trying to do is defend an unethical practice. It can't be done, and the persons who try don't seem to understand this.


Anonymous User
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 10:53AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2007 08:15AM by Craig Mercer.
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 02:44PM

Craig: You have got to be one of the most petty and disagreeable miscreants I have ever run across. Your nothing more than a blow-hard jerk without any socially redeeming values. Not one.

I happen to be recently home from hospital, where I spent two weeks being poked and prodded, stuck and bled, tested up the Kazoo and diagnosed, then sent back home with marching orders for what will be the last few months of my life. I have cancer: terminal. Given my circumstances, I can only hope there is some small spark of humanity in your being and you will understand why I have not the slightest attention of dealing with you again. So post to Mindat all you, but don't expect me to read or reply to anything you write: So far as I am concerned, you are dead already.
Anonymous User
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 03:02PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2007 08:14AM by Craig Mercer.
Anonymous Ebayer
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 08:51PM
After seeing so much ebay "bashing" I simply cannot hold my tongue any longer. As an ebay seller I feel I owe it to those of us who make up the growing number of "good" ebayers. Below is basically just a "stream of consciousness" resulting from too much coffee...

I just want to say that - like many of you have pointed out there are good sellers and "bad" sellers out there. Before you buy anything look at the seller's feedback, and beyond that you can also contact recent buyers and get their detailed opinions/info. Also look at the ratio between the number of unique feedbacks versus total feedbacks - this is a good indicator of whether or not collectors are happy and making repeat purchases.

I love selling on ebay and take great pride in what I do. Over the years I have seen more and more really fantastic dealers of the finest standard of trustworthiness, fairness, respect, and are - simply put - great people.
As an example, I will share with you some of my business philosophy - just to let you know that there are indeed people on ebay that really care about what they do...

Now, as with any retail business - ESPECIALLY this business - it is simply an inevitability that there will be a problem with a transaction. Sometimes it is beyond anyone's control (i.e. postal issues, etc.) but a good seller will do everything in his power to minimize these risks by shipping with insurance, tracking, etc. The proper packaging is should also be of utmost importance and the seller should package specimens using the very best materials AND METHODS so the parcel can withstand the worst possible handling one could imagine.
Beyond that, numerous, detailed photos should be provided in addition to accurate measurements and an in depth description noting all relevant information possible.

This is the best a seller can do. However, if a problem arises or a specimen is returned, how this situation is dealt with is the true measure of a seller's commitment to their customers. In the rare instances when such things occur I go to EVERY possible length to ensure that the customer is not only happy but BEYOND happy to the extent that they are more happy than they would have been in the first place - and are anxious to do business again. Such examples include giving refunds of up to 150% plus free gifts, significant credit and discounts on future purchases, or ANYTHING else they might desire instead! Nothing is more important to me than my customer's happiness for it is this that has made me a success. I recognize that they can choose ANYONE to do business with and truly honor and appreciate their business. As such, I feel it is my duty to guarantee their happiness since they are, the people to whom I owe my living to!

I strive to provide the best minerals at the best prices and have often sold specimens worth hundreds of dollars for less than $50. However, I am looking to make long lasting relationships, not fast money.

So, in closing, I'd just like to let all of you people that see ebay as a haven for unscrupulous scammers and unethical frauds that there are some really great dealers out there as well. If you do a bit of homework you can find those people and, even better, the amazing finds and bargains that you won't find anywhere else!

I know I am not the only one out there...

Dismissing Ebay is just like dismissing a particular Mineral Show - it doesn't make to much sense does it?

Anyway, thanks for listening....


Anonymous Ebayer
avatar Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 10, 2007 10:54PM
This post is for Tracy.

Sorry if my comments seemed like I was jumping down your throat. Actually, it was another contributor's comments that had set me off and I did not slow down enough by the time I got to your question.

It is certainly no crime to be a newcomer or even to know nothing at all about minerals. I think it is great that you have discovered the fascination of collecting minerals. I share that fascination. My suggestion is that buying, trading, and field collecting will provide you with a greater richness of experience than just any one of these activities would alone. I agree that beginners to the study of minerals can benefit from taking part and reading the forums. I would expand that to say anyone interested in minerals, at whatever level of knowledge, can learn from the message threads. Additionally, my comment about limited thinking did not pertain to newcomers; limited thinking means having a narrow outlook, not limited knowledge of a subject. These are two very distinct things. Limited knowledge simply means you are ready to learn; we are all in that boat. Narrow outlook is, well . . . regrettable. That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

I agree with you completely on one of your comments. Mr. Alan Plante is much more patient than I am. I have noticed that he is a very patient person from his contributions to the message board. That is intended to be a sincere compliment.

avatar Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 11, 2007 12:37AM
Normally I don't allow people to post messages anonymously, however "anonymous ebayer" was simply trying to put a point across without it appearing as an advertisment - and I appreciate that. Thank you.

Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 11, 2007 03:09AM
Dear eBayer

You make good sense and legitimate points throughout your post. You come across as just the type of auction salesperson the mineral community should be patronizing - honest and concerned about the needs of his/her clients. Quite frankly, I don't think the issue of "eBay-Bashing" applies to you - or vendors like you - in the least. It is just too bad that people like you get caught in the cross-fire when negative issues arise. You shouldn't.

Alas, the problem-bashing (whether with eBay or any similar sales site) that arises on this particular Forum dedicated to "Fakes, Frauds & Marketing Ploys" is a *Nature of the Beast* sort of thing. This specific Forum exsists to help members of the mineral community avoid getting caught in the talons of the less-than honest vendor, wherever he or she may be operating in the intermess. It only stands to reason that people being exposed for various sorts of shady dealings are likely to show up here and try to defend what may, in fact, be indefensible practices: Practices that simply ARE shady. And when they do this we end up with controversy. Also, it seems that - for whatever reasons - eBay gets "picked on the most." I'd bet me bottom dollar that their are "fleece shops" out there where much worse shysterism is happening; but they just don't seem to come to light here at Mindat very often. Perhaps it is an economy of scale thing - eBay being so big that their are just more shysters scuttling around their trying to fleece the public.

All that having been said, I realize that I am probably one of the most vocal "Anti-eBayers" at Mindat. This is because I feel the venue is so fraught with pitfalls that it simply isn't worth the trouble it takes to learn how to thread that needle's eye safely... :~{


Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 11, 2007 09:52AM
Dear Robert,

"Aw, shucks! You'll turn my head!" :~} But thank you kindly for the compliment.

Actually, my patience with people who truly desire to learn comes from a long history of having learned from others - various mentors who have taken me under their wing and shared their own wealth of knowledge and spirit with me freely. It was at some point during my college years that I came to understand how truly generous and kind-hearted they were - just such GOOD PEOPLE. And I resolved then and there to "pay it forward" as my way of acknowledging my debt to them.

That said, I know full well that I can be one cantankerous SOB - and hell on wheels when pushed to it. I do not "suffer fools gladly." Nor do I tolerate obstructive behavior when sharing knowledge is supposed to be the order of the day.

At any rate, I try to do what I can to help people who want to learn about minerals and geology. I'm repaying an old debt...


Huh. I remember the "good old days" before ebay and the internet, when the only way for most of us to collect was local rock and mineral shows and a few rock shops and an occasional dig. I was "ripped off" buying from dealers just as much then as on ebay. I don't mean the rocks were fake, only sometimes mislabeled, when there was a label. The difference is, now I can do some homework before purchase on the same internet that gives me access to specimens at an affordable price I could only dream of back then.

Like many others, any specimens with labels I receive now just have the labels tossed in a drawer. Labels are obsolete in today's world of digital photography and spreadsheets. I take several good quality photographs and record detailed information and print one hard copy for safety. Additional information appended as needed. Should my collection be sold in the future, that is the information that will accompany the specimen. Not some yellowed tiny square of paper.
avatar Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 11, 2007 12:08PM
Jerry, the problem with your approach is that the "yellowed tiny square of paper" is (discounting deliberate forgery) proof of the origin of the specimen into your collection. You may note down that you bought it from XYZ dealer, but maybe you got it wrong, maybe you typed into the wrong row on your spreadsheet. The original label may not be as convenient in this digital age, but it belongs with the specimen.

Jolyon, you of course have a point, in that some specimens have a history and it's easy to lose vital information about origin that can never be recovered. If you want to make a case for at least scanning the label to include in the information, I'd have to say that would be a good idea.

But really, labels have always been a poor way to keep track of information. It's just that there was no better way at the time. They were prone to getting lost and switched around and deteriorate. In a display case, the label is often bigger than the specimen. Now, if I acquire something off the internet, I begin tracking the history by saving and printing the actual page off ebay, picture and all, and putting it in a folder. The little slip of paper from, say, Pebble Peddler that has name and location typed on it isn't needed.
Let the buyer beware!!!!
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
June 13, 2007 04:16AM
While I see the reasoning now for buying still for me I personnally wouldn't since I wouldn't know which are fakes. In that respect I find these boards very interesting.
Robert, I was not trying to create a "rift". Your apology and 2nd explanation are noted. Thank you.
Alan, I am truly sorry to hear your news. For what it is worth I feel you have done an excellent job of "paying it forward". Your name has been well known to me for many years (even before I got bit by the rockhound bug) as you were a "local" person.
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
August 02, 2007 03:08PM
IMHO, there is little difference between eBay and other markets: Fakes and mislabellings are everywhere. I have seen my fair share of clear fakes or errors on shows as well. In the end, there is no subsitute for knowledge, on which minerals occur where in which types of geology, what they are worth etc.
Anonymous User
Re: Ebay sellers listing minerals without mine or location
August 02, 2007 03:21PM
Hi Karsten,

Yes I agree with what you have said knowledge is the key but on ebay you are buying a picture and some writting it just makes it that little bit more difficult to see the true colour, shape and texture.


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